KENNESAW, Ga. — The High Point University volleyball team fell behind, 2-1, but its comeback fell short, 20-25, 25-16, 25-17, 23-25 and 7-15, at Kennesaw State Thursday night (Aug. 30).
In the fifth and decisive set, the Panthers (0-3) and Owls (4-0) were tied at seven before Kennesaw State pulled away, claiming the last eight points to finish the match.
Senior Molly Livingston led the Panthers, hitting .476 with 10 kills against no errors, while recording five blocks. Freshman Madison Smith led HPU with 12 kills and also had five blocks. Sophomore Abby Bottomley had a game-high 27 digs, while senior Abby Broadstreet added 11 digs.
For the match, the Panthers hit .138 combined to the Owls’ .237. Kennesaw State led in blocks, 14-10, and service aces, 6-4.
“We battled tonight with a very good and talented Kennesaw State team,” HPU head coach Ryan Meek said. “I was proud of some of the grit we showed throughout the match, though we hate to have to keep learning these lessons the hard way. We get another chance to play tomorrow against a talented Jacksonville team and are eager to get back on the court.”
In the first set, Livingston and Madison Smith each recorded four blocks. Kennesaw State tied the set at 19, but the Panthers went on a 6-1 to claim the frame.
The Owls claimed the second set, 25-16, after hitting .222 with 13 kills and holding the Panthers to a .000 hitting percentage.
Kennesaw State hit .333 in the third set to go along with three service aces on the way to a 25-17 set win.
The Panthers were down 23-22 in the fourth and only two points from the Owls taking the match when Livingston earned a kill to tie the frame at 23. A block by Smith and freshman Gabrielle Idlebird gave HPU set point and Smith earned a kill on the subsequent point to claim the set for the Purple & White and force the fifth stanza.
Up next, the Panthers stay in Kennesaw to take on Jacksonville on Friday (Aug. 31) at 5 p.m.